All photographs on this site copyright of Antoine Boesch

Trashy mags


This is quite embarassing but as we say in French, only idiots don't change their minds - so I'm beginning to feel like a rocket scientist.

Was writing in an earlier post how I'd reconciled with the French language PHOTO magazine, which looked like it'd finally come round from being just a soft porn mag. So I was quite pleased when, a few days ago, the July-August issue finally became available.

When I leafed through it I was not only sorely disapointed, but actually annoyed and aghast at the extent to which I was unashamedly being taken for an imbecile:

1) fully 6 pages about gear

2) 3 articles largely the same as in Polka magazine (that came out maybe 2-3 weeks ago)

3) 2 main articles are photo collections about a) model Gisèle Bündchen and b) Brazil, in effect just fronts for soft porn (though there's no particulr reason a "Brazil" article should be treated that way).

4) two other articles, one about photographer Lucien Clergue, the other about recent photo auctions, also feature a disproportionate number of soft porn images.

Don't get me wrong: I have absolutely nothing against porn, soft or otherwise, nor against porn mags - but I do object a) to being taken for a blithering moron who'll be happy with any product as long as it features a touch of porn, and b) to things pretending to be what evidently they are not (i.e. soft porn mags parading as photo mags).

I should also express a degree of tedium for the "porno chic" style of photography, where poor imitators sought to ride the coat-tails of Helmut Newton, never really figuring out where to change or get off. The above-mentioned Brazil portfolio being a prime, almost caricatural examplem particularly the pop-coloured photo with a girl in a bikini, eyes closed, holding a red ice-cream dripping down into her mouth. I'm pretty certain you can picture the image - which would, in fact, be the demonstration that the photographer has naught to say.

Anyway, I immediately trashed all my PHOTO collection, except for this last number which was given temporary reprieve purely for the purpose of this blog post, and the numbers occasionnally given over to a single photographer, which are usually quite good.

What, however, does this all mean ?

When I was griping and grumbling about this to my wife, she remarked that mags had after all to fill their pages, and that there was probably a reason why Polka magazine is only a quarterly, and why most other photo mags stack their pages with gear and tech.

I suppose the same goes for mags as for the inflation of TV channels: more of the same, a lot of it quite boring.

#photomagazines